The Washington Wizards are currently 5-8, ninth in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. They are just half a game behind the Orlando Magic for the eighth place spot. I know, the Wizards are currently in position to get a playoff spot this early in the season. But let’s take a look at one player who has fueled Washington’s gradual rise into this spot.
That player? Bradley Beal.
The veteran guard was long expected to be the team’s leading scorer and assister this season. He isn’t disappointing in that regard, where he’s averaging 30.3 points per game, second in the NBA and 7.1 assists per game, good for 13th.
That said Beal’s shooting efficiency hasn’t been great overall, especially from the three-point line. He has historically shot close to 40 percent from deep, but is just shooting 35.1 percent this season.
Over the last five games, Beal has gone on a hot streak, not just with overall numbers, but efficiency as well. In those games, Beal has scored 30 or more points in each game (37 to be exact), shot 57.6 percent from the field and never under 46 percent from the field in any one game.
Finally, the Wizards have won three of their last five games, including each of their last two with Beal scoring 30 points and dishing 12 assists in a 125-118 win last night against the Charlotte Hornets.
The good news is that Beal is improving his production and efficiency, both of which are helping the Wizards win more games. Though Beal could enter the MVP discussion if he continues this type of performance over a longer stretch of time, it also shows that the Wizards still have a lot of work to do to stay in that playoff conversation in the weeks ahead.